Movie Review: Freedom Writers
Freedom Writers, a movie based on true events and the book Freedom Writer’s Diaries: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them. The movie takes place during the Rodney King Verdict in April of 1992 in Long Beach, California. Gang violence and racial tension reached an all time high. One hundred and twenty murders were committed in Long Beach alone, affecting hundreds of people and their families. During this time twenty three year old Erin Gruwell, played by Hilary Swank, was starting her teaching career and got assigned to Woodrow High School in Long Beach, freshmen classroom 203. This is where the story began, where lives were changed because of one person who was persistent and never gave up on the students.
The first day of school, Mrs. Gruwell gives Margaret Campbell, the Department Chair her teaching plans only to be told that they too advanced for her freshmen class. She becomes informed that her students are at a 5th grade reading level. Mrs. Campbell also tells Mrs. Gruwell not wear her pearls to class. Erin walks into classroom 203, and as the students walk in the classroom immediately separates, divided groups by race. Erin feels like she cannot get the respect she deserves and when she states that the students start to tell her she isn’t going to get it. Marcus played by Jason Finn explains that they don’t know her and she isn’t going to get the respect just because she is a teacher. He says how they are in a war and they “graduate everyday,” that they don’t need her or school to survive. The students in Woodrow High School were labeled as failures by all the teachers and are referred to as unteachable. Erin is appalled by all of this and thinks they need to be treated like the honor students so they know thier important as well. Erin fights to get books for them but is denied because the students always ruin or never return the books. Erin strongly wants to teach them how to read and write. She decided not to listen what everyone has said about them or even what they decided about themselves.
The Development of a Prevention Dropout for Secondary Student in an Urban High School Setting According to Noguera and Dimon (2003), the rate of dropout in American urban high schools may be the biggest but least known problem today. Noguera and Dimon estimated that at a great amount of schools 50% and even more of the students who start their ninth grade leave it without graduation. . Many ...
She buys them each a journal and wants them to write in it everyday about anything they wanted. She vowed not to read them unless she had the permission and would lock them away. When she starts to earn the students trust, they let her read them. On parent teacher night none of the students parents showed up. That night she decided to open the locker to see if any of them left their journals for her to read, and she was pleased to open the locker and find it filled. When Erin read their journals she learned the fight that every single one of them had to face everyday. She never realized how hard their lives were and was very touched by all the entries. Erin was determined to break them mentally. She gets a second job to start paying for their books, and to take them on field trips. Once the students seen how Erin went out of her way for them, they started to slowly respect her.
During class one day a picture was passed around the classroom of one of the students, Jamal. The picture was making fun of them because he was black. This reminded Erin of the Holocaust and how the Jews were portrayed the same way. When she asked them if they knew about the Holocaust, they all never heard of it. Erin decided to teach them about it and got them the Anne Frank diary to read in class and at home. Then she took them on a field trip during the weekend, picking them up herself with the help of her father, to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where the students learned about the Holocaust and met actual Holocaust survivors. The students were all very touched by the stories they read at the museum and how thousands of people died and were separated from their families. As freshmen year ends classroom 203 and Ms. Gruwell become very close, and they don’t want to leave her. Erin fights to become their teacher for sophomore year and through a very hard fight gets granted to move up with them.
Lesson Plan October 18, 2001 SUBJECT/GRADE LEVEL: Reading / grade 6 th OBJECTIVE: students will read Aunt Beast. AIM: Why is it important not to judge a book by it cover? MATERIALS: Distance Shore textbook Activity WorkbooksNotebooksPencilsBlackboardChalkMOTIVATION: Students will discuss books or movies, which contains characters other than humans. Students will discuss what makes each of us ...
Through this journey, you see what the students learn and what Erin Gruwell learns as well. In this movie the teacher isn’t only teaching the students, but the students are teaching her too. This story proves how one person can make a big difference. It is truly inspirational how Erin reaches out to the students of room 203 and changes their lives for the better.